Excerpts from Muyedobotongji
Like the Ye Do, the Je Dok Gum is carried at the side.
The 14 postures of Je Dok Gum are known as the creation of Chinese Admiral Yi Yu-Song who was a descendent of Korean lineage. Among the admirals who were stationed in Korea during King Sinjong's reign were Yi Yu-song, Yu Jung, Ma Kwi, Dong Il-won, Yi Sun-hun, and Jin In. Yu Jung was known for his expertise in using the long sword. In the Jingbeerok, it is recorded, "In the summer of the year Kyesa, I was ill in bed at the Moksadong in Seoul. At the time, General Nak Sang-ji from the Ming Dynasty, who was known for his ability to lift 1,000 pounds, said, 'Chosun is weak and the Japanese enemies are still stationed on the peninsula, the Koreans should learn martial arts from us in order to defend the country.' Thus, I wrote a proposal to the king and his officer Han Sa-rip. Seventy soldiers were chosen to participate, so I requested Nak Sang-ji to begin lessons. He then selected Jang Yuk-sam and ten additional instructors. They began to teach the fighting methods of the spear, the sword and the nang sun. The methods came from Admiral Nak Sang-ji and so were called the admiral's sword."
Yi Won, the fifth descendant of Admiral Yi Yu-song, said, "While Yi Yu-song was stationed in Chosun, he took the daughter of Mr. Kum of Tong Jin for his maid (concubine). When he was departing the country, he gave his sword to her as a token for his love and said, 'If you give a birth to a boy, make his name Chun Keun.' Indeed, she delivered a boy and named him Chun Keun. Even today there are many of Chun Keun's descendants living in the Keoje area."
During King Yungjo's reign (1746), the naval commander, Yi Un-sang, found Mu Chon, who was the direct descendant of Chun Keun. Yi engraved the historical facts on the sword and the scabbard and returned the sword to the family of the admiral. The length of the blade was three feet four inches; the throat of the sword, nine inches with two holes; the width of the blade, one and one half inches with an upper slicing part of three sixteenths of an inch; the thickness of the back, over one quarter of an inch; the tip one eight of an inch. On the side of the blade, a Chinese character, chang, is engraved in a circle. In the gap at the top, a wiggling dragon is engraved. It is not rusted at all; it has a clean and pure appearance. This is not related to the fighting method, however, since this weapon is called the Je Dok Gum, this description is included with the illustrations.
Like the excerpts say, its been passed down to Korea by Ming Dynasty soldiers during the Imjin War (1592-1598). Along with techniques such as the spear, trident, and nang-sun; Je Dok Gum was one of the forms taught to Korean soldiers in order to strengthen their abilities and help prepare them for another future conflict. After seeing how Korean land forces has lost tremendously during the early stages of the war, it seemed that the Chinese were quite convinced that Chosun (Korea) was incapable of defending its own territories.
Chosun soldier, Chinese point of view
But, of course, Korea did have its @$$-kicking moments throughout history, and it still runs through Korean veins (I hope, considering the performances of ROKMC in Vietnam and Rain in Ninja Assassin). It was just that the confucianism in Chosun made Koreans look down upon military arts and weapons; and had to pay a huge price for it.
So hopefully being aware of that, Chosun court allowed themselves to be open-minded and accepted whatever teachings by the Ming soldiers. They were determined to never be unprepared for another war again, and were slowly making progress in restrengthening its military.
As these techniques were one of the first rudimentary steps to reform/strengthen the weakened Korean military (and the eventual creation of Muyedobotongji); you've got to give some pat on the back to the Chinese for this.
So kudos to you China.
In all honesty, that's probably one of the very few things Koreans would thank you for.
Being the only Chinese sword form in the Muyedobotongji, Je Dok Gum contributes greatly to the unique style and versatility of the Korean military martial arts. Like most Chinese military martial arts, this form focuses on individual against group combat, as the user generally keeps the blade moving in a circular motion; ready to strike or block at any point.
Personally, this is one of the coolest, and my favorite sword technique in this manual.
It involves lots of slashing and spinning, while demanding proper technique and speed of the user.
Plus, it has the most badass posture for a sword technique.
Video of Je Dok Gum
Sadly, we may never know the proper techniques of the Muyedobotongji, because its description on several techniques are left for interpretation of the practitioner. So the guy doing this technique in the video above, is doing the way he interprets it (he's pretty good though in my opinion).
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